McCamy Taylor's Journal
Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 07:05 PM
Number of posts: 16,729
Number of posts: 16,729
Here is my fiction website: http://home.earthlink.net/~mccamytaylor/ My political cartoon site: http://www.grandtheftelectionohio.com/
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Tomorrow we go into General Election mode. I would like to get a head start on something that has a tremendous social and economic impact on this country---prematurity. Many of the nation's communities have an excessive number of babies being born premature. These infants face a lifetime of challenges. And, they put a strain on our public health care system. The March of Dimes estimated (in 2007) that health care costs in this country for premature infants were over 16 billion dollars a year. Given medical inflation, is is probably much higher now. And prematurity and low birth weight are the biggest factors in infant mortality.
There are many causes of prematurity. Some, like maternal disease are difficult to correct. Thanks to advances in fertility treatment, many women who might not have been able to conceive in the past are now getting pregnant--and having medically complicated pregnancies.
However, some of the causes of premature labor, low birth weight infants and high infant mortality and morbidity could be corrected if we would only change our priorities a teeny-weeny bit.
Tarrant County, Texas, aka Fort Worth has an unusually high infant mortality rate. All urban areas on Texas have high infant mortality, but Tarrant County makes Bexar, Dallas, Harris look good. Why?
One cause is the high level of PCBs in area waterways from a military dump in Lake Worth. The PCBS end up in fish which locals still continue to consume despite "catch and release" warnings are area lakes. Here is a link to a DU Journal I wrote in 2010:
And here is a link to a 2007 journal about the same topic:
Which begs the question: Why the hell are you so hung up on the topic of water pollution and infant mortality, McCamy? Answer: because my own completely uncomplicated pregnancy ended up with a premature delivery that my doctor could not explain. And because the problem in Tarrant County is not getting any better. Here is a link from today's paper....
Oops. Sorry. For some reason there is no online link to the very excellent article written by TCU journalism students about Tarrant County's ongoing infant mortality problem. If you can snag a hard copy of the newspaper, I encourage you to do so. If you can find a link for me, please post it. I would not put it past the city and its leaders to attempt to minimize online coverage of one of the city's dark secrets---that for decades we have had increased infant mortality and that nothing we have done so far seems to help. And that no one in city government has the cojones to do the two things which might actually make a difference, namely 1) make someone clean up Lake Worth where a military dump is leaching PCBs into our waterways and 2) inform the public about the reason for the "catch and release" notices posted all around area streams and lakes. But hey, no one in Fort Worth wants to piss off the Pentagon which provides lots of area jobs. And no one in Fort Worth wants to discourage recreational fishing. On the contrary, they want to encourage it, since tourism money is good money--
Anyway, if some one has Hillary Clinton's ear, can you please ask her to turn the spotlight on to a topic that is massively important to a lot of families. Infant mortality can be reduced. But only if we change priorities and make the needs of children--and their parents-- a priority.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun Jun 19, 2016, 04:12 PM (0 replies)
The GOP is really fired up about two issues this election year. One is immigration. Fear of the stranger in our midst. Fascism 101. A no brainer for their base (with no brains.) The other is...
Restrooms? Public potties are the number two menace facing our country? What happened to abortion? You know, saving the life of a 16 cell morula (see below):
Zika is what happened. The same women who believe that unwed mothers should be forced to bear the fruit of their sinful fornication absolutely do not want to be forced to give birth to a baby with serious birth defects because of a Spring Break vacation in the Caribbean. Because if God did not want fertile women to vacation at beach resorts He would not have given them bikini wax and frequent flyer miles.
Those of you who are as old as me (as in "as the hills") will remember the real reason why the public pushed for legalized abortion. Not grisly photos of women dead in a pool of their own blood from back alley procedures. No, it was another virus, Rubella, aka Germain Measles that turned the tide.
So, until they come up with a Zika Virus vaccine, expect to hear less than usual from the GOP about ending all abortions for all women for all time in this country. And more from the Democrats about preserving a woman's right to choose.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat May 14, 2016, 02:13 PM (9 replies)
We had to face this in the 1960s. Minority rights, the peace movement---these were all things on which the left agreed. But when it came to women's rights, suddenly we women were out there on our own. We were told that it was our job to have sex with men resisting the draft, in order to prove that they were still real men even though they did not want to die in Vietnam and wore their hair long. We were expected to "put out" for other members of various rights groups as a gesture of racial, ethnic, religious and socio-economic equality/solidarity. But, when we wanted to talk about how we were paid a fraction of what men were paid, how we did double duty as child caretakers, elder caretakers, homemakers and workers, we were told that our work at home was not important. We were derided as bra burners and man haters. We were told that our movement detracted from other, more worthy causes, that we held the left up to general public derision, because somehow women's rights were less right that minority rights, religious rights, economic rights. Comedians on all sides of the political spectrum mocked us in a way they never would have mocked Brother Malcolm of Cesar Chavez.
Our situation was the same as that of other oppressed groups, we were told. Women were, based on their biology, inherently different and any attempt to elevate our position within society were doomed to fail. The only group that endured the same type of criticism from within the left were the LBGT, who were also portrayed as "unnatural", "deviant" a distraction from the greater cause of economic justice. Let the (straight or closeted) men take care of things, and prosperity and equality would trickle down to the women.
We were told that our first duty was to support our men at home while they did the fighting, the protesting, the politicking. If we objected to being made into sex objects, if we objected to rape, we were called "frigid" , "unhip". If we admitted to being intimidated in the presence of men, if we requested our own groups, our own chance to form our own union, we were called unnatural, Lesbians, man haters---
Pardon me. But when people like Dr. King self identified as Black, this did not make them white haters. When members of minority groups formed their own coalitions, no one on the left accused them of "voting with their melanin (skin pigment)" But when women express concern about the patriarchy, when we call for equal representation, we are accused of "voting with our vaginas". Much the same way that psychoanalysts used to accuse us of being hysterical in reference to the hyster or uterus.
In 2008, when Black Americans celebrated breaking the race barrier in the White House, everyone on the left agreed that this was a worthy achievement, worthy of celebration.
Now, in 2016, the same members of the left (or maybe some people who only claim to be members of the left) openly deride women who want to celebrate the breaking of the gender barrier in the White House. They attempt to shame younger women into denying that sexism exists in this country. Meanwhile, our young women are taught that they have value only as long as they are young, slender, beautiful and desirable to men. Female actors are over the hill at 30. Females in school are taught to keep a low profile and never let their brains show. Rape victims continue to have their identities withheld because there is something shameful about being raped while there is no shame at all in being the victim of any other violent crime. Women continue to be passed over for promotion on the grounds that they are not dedicated workers. They are paid a fraction of what men make for the same work. They are sexually harassed in the streets and online. Men continue to use their female relatives as punching bags----when they are treated as less than men in the world outside, they can always come home and put their woman in her place and feel like a man again. When men decide that life is not worth living and that it is now time to check out, they are much more likely to turn the gun on their wives first, before taking their own lives. Because what are women here for if not to serve and suffer for their men?
Sexism is the disrespect that starts at home. As Yoko One said "Woman is the n----- of the world." Households very often contain men and women. Gender roles in our society are so screwed up that men are taught they must always be strong. Women are taught that their job is to make their man feel strong. A woman who says "What about me? What about the special needs that I have as a woman?" is a threat. She is deserving of ridicule and abuse. Her needs are frivolous needs---
There is absolutely nothing frivolous about the millions of women in this country who are sick to death of being sex toys, punching bags, goods to be bartered, underpaid sweat shop laborers and voiceless. I am woman, and whether you like it or not, this year you will hear me and my sisters roar, because we know that only someone who has walked in our shoes--our ridiculously uncomfortable and impractical shoes---understands our pain, our frustration, our anger---
Hillary Clinton is a feminist icon, whether you like it or not.
"Women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights."
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Thu Mar 3, 2016, 03:25 AM (7 replies)
The backbone of the Southern Democratic Party is made of a coalition of unions, Blacks, Hispanics and gays. When people speak disparagingly of the choices we make in our primary, they are criticizing a group of voters who are much more marginalized than Democrats in other states.
Clinton scored big with unions, Blacks, Hispanics, gays---and a lot of women. She did not score big with the KKK, David Dukes or the Dukes of Hazard, no matter what some folks at DU would like you to believe.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Wed Mar 2, 2016, 04:30 AM (38 replies)
Imagine that no one decided to challenge Clinton, on the grounds that she has already tied up 98% of all the support that counts and has great name recognition and has been voted most admired woman in American 17 times in the last two decades and none of the Republicans can even give her a good run in the general. Imagine that the primaries were a mere formality, sort of like when an incumbent---or the VP (and anointed successor) of a popular sitting president runs. Imagine what we would have missed:
Bill Clinton keeps everyone guessing "Will he get off the leash? Will Hillary have to go after him with a rolled up newspaper? Will he give reporters a chance to talk about sex on the evening news?"
The left wing of the Democratic Party telling the great mass of middle of the road/undecided voters (i.e. the couch potatoes who decide elections in this country) that Clinton is dangerously moderate, extremely middle of the road, entirely too establishment, scarily average in her politics, almost certainly not going to start a socialist revolution if she gets elected.
A socialist from New England getting massive mainstream media coverage for telling it like it is.
The Democratic Primary getting lots of mainstream media attention.
The Democratic candidates getting to appear on televised debates (free publicity!)
Prominent Democrats being allowed to decide to whom they will give their support--and getting media attention for doing so!
Democratic Underground having heavy traffic, especially in the GD Primaries section.
Democratic Voters getting off their duffs and registering for the primary which means that they will also be registered for the general.
Democratic Voters discovering now rather than later that they have been effectively disenfranchised by their state's new voting laws, giving them plenty of time to fix things before the general.
And of course, one of the catchiest campaign songs ever, "Chelsea's Mom" by Well Strung.
Thank you, Bernie Sanders for making this all possible! Thank you Bernie Sanders supporters for all your hard work!
Ooops! Almost forgot: Clinton/Castro 2016 !
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Thu Feb 18, 2016, 03:50 AM (12 replies)
Mexico was in crisis. The bloody Spanish had invaded. The people were being enslaved and exterminated. The Church had no use for "pagans" as they dubbed the Aztecs--even though the Aztec religion called for extremes of asceticism and moral purity that made Europeans of the time seem like the most debauched sinners. And then, a miracle. An enslaved Aztec priest had a vision at a mountain holy to an Aztec goddess, Tonantzin. He saw a mixed race---European and Native American---woman dressed in a blue mantle surrounded by light. Addressing him in his own religion, she asked why he was afraid and told him
"Am I not your mother?"
Natives converted to Catholicism. Or rather, their own brand of Catholicism. They honored Mary above Jesus. They called Mary "Tonantzin." And, centuries later, when Mexico drove out Spain, they did so under the banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Were those early Mexicans who co-opted Mary to become their own Goddess members of a Medieval "Third Way"? Did they sully the purity of their own religion, set back their own cause--freedom from colonial rule---by working within the system? Or, did they subvert the message of the conquerers which was "Everything belongs to Spain" by finding a tiny germ of decency, a bit of common ground upon which all could stand and flourish?
It is easier to cut away the old---say, on a guillotine---than to change hearts and minds. You do not change hearts and minds by declaring much of the world---and the people who exist in it--- evil, corrupt, taboo, "corporate." It does not work for ISIS and it does not work in the US.
Hillary Clinton has been ridiculed, excoriated, damned for attempting to find common ground with conservatives via their Christian faith. But their Christian faith is the only germ of decency that many on the right still possess. When one contemplates the true meaning of Christianity, one realizes that the message is one of universal love, equality and a willingness to change.
"I have come to cast fire upon the world."
The best kind of fire does not merely sweep away the past. It lays down a fertile soil on which the future can grow. And if we are to achieve peace in our lifetime, we must be able to engage the hearts and minds of everyone. Come together.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Wed Nov 25, 2015, 03:11 PM (10 replies)
First, I will post a real, actual, I-could-not-make-this-kind-of-shit up quote from DU today:
"her clothing doesn't register with anyone"
Oh my! How could we even consider a female candidate who is not also a fashion maven? What were we thinking?
Now, about this so called "Lack of enthusiasm", Clinton's supporters are saving it for the general----because we are 99.99% sure that she will be the nominee. Nothing that has happened this primary season has changed our minds. On the contrary. Every time her detractors rub their hands and cackle in glee anticipating that this debate or that Congressional witch hunt will spell doom, DOOM, DOOM for her campaign, she always manages to win. Every time we are told that if the election were held today and if middle school students in one state were going to select the party's nominee--we yawn. And then we get back to our lives---which includes occasionally checking in to see what the We Hate Hillary Talking Point du Jour is.
Today's talking point is "Clinton is just no fun!"
I beg to differ. These folks think there is a lot be be enthusiastic about. May I recommend the following song as you scroll through the images below:
"Chelsea's Mom Has Got It Going On"
Sure, she dresses like Your Mother. But we are voting for a president, not a Super Model.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun Nov 22, 2015, 11:45 PM (30 replies)
Twice as many women were killed by their intimate partners in this country between 2002 and 2012 as the number of US troops that died in Iraq and Afghanistan AND folks who were killed on 9-11. One in three women around the globe has been a victim of domestic violence. When women are beaten by their partners, folks still ask "What did she do to deserve it?"
In 1969, Yoko Ono said "Woman is the n----- of the world." Little has changed since then, especially in the third world. Women hold up half the sky--and only own a small fraction of the world's wealth. 1%, to be exact, even though they make up 40% of the world's work force. This is no accident. Women are systematically exploited, disenfranchised, denied education, mocked, beaten, raped and murdered if they try to rise up from their serfdom.
If there was a country where any single group of men contributed so much to the workforce but received so little in exchange, we would denounce that country. The way we denounced South Africa. Where is our outrage for women? Why is the Never-ending War Against Women not the first, second and third most important issues of this election?
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Fri Nov 6, 2015, 04:47 AM (61 replies)
This is a 100% real question and I would appreciate honest responses.
We all know that during the general election, we are expected to hang together (or hang separately) at DU. On the other hand...
During the primary, it is fair to tout our own candidate's ability to rouse the base and win votes in the general while predicting that the opponent will be so unlovable/scary that Dems will stay away from the polls in droves if he/she is nominated?
With this is mind, are threats to withhold your own vote in the general legitimate presidential primary political tactics? Please justify your answer.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Thu Nov 5, 2015, 04:02 PM (10 replies)
I have never failed to vote for the Democratic nominees since I first became eligible to vote (and I am a Boomer). I post at Democratic Underground, because I am a Democrat. The Democratic Party of the 20th and 21st centuries has much to be proud of. Since FDR, we have been the party of Social Security, Medicare, Voting Rights, Civil Rights, the Affordable Care Act (which did away with "pre-existing conditions" a tremendous step forward no matter its other weaknesses), Marriage Equality. We are the party of unions, of equal rights regardless of race, religious, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. From time to time, our politicians stumble. The so called "socialists" of Western Europe stumble, too. There is no perfect party. But I believe that when enough working class Americans join forces to vote as one, we improve all our lives. I believe that efforts to dissuade us from Party unity benefit only one group--the 1% which is over represented in the MSM and in campaign contribution dollars.
I believe that previous efforts to dissuade us from voting together for our nominee have been self serving--of some other party. I believe that when Ralph Nader persuaded voters that "Bush=Gore" and that a protest vote was better than a vote for the Democrat, he sold our country down the river for 4 years of war/terror/civil rights abuses. I believe that Nader's "good friend" Grover Norquist was probably laughing his ass off when Nader waged his 2000 campaign. I believe that Al Gore has proven---beyond a shadow of a doubt---that he was not and will never be just like Bush---and our country missed out on what might have been one of its most progressive, Eco-friendly and human presidencies.
I believe that if we stand united we will prevail--and if we allow ourselves to be divided, we will fail. I believe that GOP election fraud is so prevalent that only an overwhelming Democratic victory can assure that our nominee is elected---and therefore every Democratic vote counts. No one has the luxury of making a "protest vote". Your "protest vote" could send our troops into another Middle Eastern country to serve four years. Your "protest vote" could roll back the gains that have been made by LBGT community. Your "protest vote" could usher in a new round of the War Against Black Folks that the Bush DOJ waged.
We can not all agree on a candidate, but surely, as Democrats, we can all agree on one thing. I pledge to vote for the Democratic Nominee. How about you?
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Thu Nov 5, 2015, 03:21 AM (45 replies)